Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that, with deaths and hospitalisations at the lowest level since last July, further easing of the Covid restrictions in England will go ahead as planned from Monday May 17.
This means the rule of six will apply indoors and the limit for outdoor meetings will increase to 30. It will also mean the reopening of hostels, hotels, theatres, conference halls, sports stadiums and hospitality indoors.
People will be able to travel and stay overnight, which also means that schools will now be able to organise trips with overnight stays.
Pupils will no longer require face coverings in classrooms and communal spaces in secondary schools and colleges. All remaining university students will be able to return to in-person teaching.
There will be an increase in the number of named visitors to those in care homes from two to five, and residents will have greater freedom to leave their home without having to isolate on return.
Mr Johnson said he was confident we will be able to go further and that, subject to the impact of step 3 on the data, that the country remains on track to move to step 4 in June.
He added that, to give businesses time to prepare, the government will be saying more later this month, including what role social distancing and certification might play in this.